The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
|The Hunchback of Notre Dame II|
|Directed by||Bradley Raymond|
|Based on||The Hunchback of Notre Dame
by Victor Hugo
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment|
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II is a 2002 American animated romantic musical comedy-drama film and direct-to-video sequel to the 1996 Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was produced by Walt Disney Animation Japan and Walt Disney Television Animation. Unlike many Disney film sequels, almost the entire key cast of the first film returns, aside from Tony Jay (since his character Judge Claude Frollo had died at the end of the first film), the late Mary Wickes (who had voiced Laverne the gargoyle, died during the release of the first film, and instead, is voiced by Jane Withers) and David Ogden Stiers (who had voiced the Archdeacon, who instead is voiced by Jim Cummings, in addition to having a different design).
Now serving as Paris' Captain of the Guard under the new Minister of Justice, after the death of Judge Claude Frollo; Captain Phoebus and Esmeralda have married and have a six-year-old son named Zephyr. Quasimodo is now an accepted part of Parisian society; though he still lives in Notre Dame with his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, and still serves as the cathedral's bell-ringer.
A circus troupe led by Sarousch enters town as part of "Le Jour d'Amour", a day dedicated to the celebration of strong and pure romantic love and romance (in a fashion similar to Valentine's Day). However, it is revealed that Sarousch is, in reality, a master criminal who plans to steal Notre Dame's most beloved bell, La Fidèle ("the faithful one"; a take on the real-life Notre Dame's biggest bell, the Emmanuel), the inside of which is decorated with beige-cold and enormous jewels. He sends Madellaine, his aspiring assistant, to discover the whereabouts of La Fidèle. She encounters Quasimodo without seeing his face, and the two of them seem to get along quite well despite having just met, but she runs away after seeing his face, shocked at his deformed appearance. The gargoyles convince Quasimodo to go to the circus to see her again. Sarousch captures the audience's attention by making an elephant disappear, while his associates steal from the audience. Sarousch forces Madellaine to follow Quasimodo and obtain the information he wants. At first she tries to persuade Sarousch not to do so, but he reminds her of her background: years ago, when Madellaine was only a six-year-old girl, Sarousch caught her trying to steal coins from him, but instead of turning her over to Frollo, Sarousch took her under his wing out of sympathy. She follows Quasimodo and Zephyr, and sees them spend the afternoon playing together. Eventually, the exhausted Zephyr falls asleep in Quasi's arms. Realizing that Quasimodo possesses a kind and gentle nature, Madellaine ceases to be frightened by his appearance. Quasimodo takes her around Paris, and shows her numerous sights.
Later, while Quasimodo is out with Madellaine, Sarousch and two of his subordinates sneak into the cathedral. Zephyr and Djali the goat follow them and watch as Sarousch causes La Fidèle to vanish. The gargoyles, who had tried to drop a bell on the thieves, end up trapped under it; Laverne rams one of its sides, causing the bell to clang loudly. Hearing the sound, Quasimodo and Madellaine rush back. When the Archdeacon informs everyone that La Fidèle has been stolen, Clopin claims that if they do not find the bell, the festival will be ruined. Phoebus suddenly realizes that Sarousch was behind the whole thing and played him for a fool. He sends the soldiers all over Paris to find Sarousch. Realizing now that Madellaine has deceived him (despite her pleas that she didn't intend to), Quasimodo angrily breaks off the relationship and tells Phoebus that he was right before running off into the cathedral, feeling heartbroken and betrayed. Feeling sorry for Quasimodo, Phoebus has the guards arrest Madellaine for her involvement in the theft.
Sarousch and his men attempt to escape with the bell through the catacombs, taking Zephyr as hostage. Phoebus, Esmeralda and Quasimodo, aided by Madellaine, catch up with him. Sarousch almost escapes by threatening Zephyr, but Madellaine uses her high-wire skills to rescue Zephyr. Sarousch and his men are ultimately captured for their crimes.
At the festival, Hugo finally wins the heart of his longtime crush: Esmeralda's pet goat Djali, after years of pestering him. A number of romantic couples including Phoebus and Esmeralda proclaim their love for each other while Quasi rings the restored La Fidèle, but the bell falls silent when Madellaine (who has now been dropped from all charges for her involvement of the theft) shows up in the bell tower. Having forgiven her, Quasimodo proclaims his deep and true romantic love for Madellaine and they share their first kiss while Zephyr rings La Fidèle, ending the film.
- Tom Hulce as Quasimodo
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Madellaine
- Demi Moore as Esmeralda
- Kevin Kline as Captain Phoebus
- Haley Joel Osment as Zephyr
- Paul Kandel as Clopin
- Charles Kimbrough as Victor
- Jason Alexander as Hugo
- Jane Withers as Laverne
- Michael McKean as Sarousch
- Jim Cummings as the Archdeacon
- April Winchell as Lady DeBurne
- Joe Lala as Guard 1
As announced on August 18, 2000, the film was originally going to be released on VHS and DVD on August 28, 2001. However, the release date was moved to March 19, 2002 to coincide with the VHS/DVD release of the original film.
The film received a score of 30% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews and an average rating of 3.6/10. Reviewers criticized the film for the poor quality of the animation in comparison to that of the original. The lighter tone, the original songs, the absence of religious themes from the original, the plot hole-ish story, and the new characters being bland and annoying as well as the weaker villain in Sarousch as opposed to Judge Claude Frollo were also popular targets among critics and audiences.
DVDactive said it was an "unusually chintzy production", noting "the characters are slightly off-model, their movements are stilted, optical zooms are used in place of animated camera moves, animation cycles are over-used, and painted highlights float around between frames". It compared it to the company's television shows, adding it looks "cheap", "old", and "awful". It concluded by saying "it is mercifully short – under an hour without credits." Hi-Def Digest said "There's really no point in wasting your time watching this subpar sequel of an already ho-hum movie", rating it 1.5 stars. PopMatters notes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II both addresses and cheapens the previous movie’s notes of melancholy, as it sets about finding Quasimodo a romantic partner". DVD Talk says "the story...somehow stretches what might have once been a 12-minute segment of the Smurfs to over an hour", and concludes that "the whole thing has the awful feel of a cash grab".
- "Le Jour D'Amour" - written by Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn; performed by Jason Alexander, Tom Hulce, Paul Kandel, Charles Kimbrough & Jane Withers
- "An Ordinary Miracle" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce
- "I'd Stick With You" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce & Haley Joel Osment
- "Fa-la-la-la Fallen In Love" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough & Mary Jay Clough
- "I'm Gonna Love You (Madellaine's Love Song)" - written by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute; performed by Jennifer Love Hewitt
- http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hunchback_of_notre_dame_ii/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame II Movie Reviews, Pictures
- Malcolm Campbell and Tom Woodward (16 March 2013). "Review: Hunchback of Notre Dame I and II, The (US - BD) - DVDActive". dvdactive.com.
- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame / The Hunchback of Notre Dame II". highdefdigest.com.
- "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Mulan' Are from Disney's Artistically Vital Years". PopMatters.
- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Two-Movie Collection (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk.
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